Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or any other show. No profit is being made from this piece of fanfiction. The next few chapters will borrow heavily from Turbo: A Power Ranger Movie.
Author's Note: Some events in this chapter follow on from those Lerigot's Greatest Trick.
The Perilous Voyage
Yara and Bethel were not doing so well. The Subcraft's journey to Earth meant that they had been exposed to the sun for longer than Lerigot who had only spent a few hours in the heat. Added to that, Lerigot had been given fluids to help his body cope with the environment; Yara and Bethel had been lucky if they had been spared any water at all. They lay within a hidden chamber breathing unevenly while Divatox on her throne focussed her attention on the cage was Lerigot was being held.
"Listen Lerigot! You cooperate with me and I will let you view your family from time to time. As you can see, they're still alive... barely."
She switched the lever on the arm of her throne and the panel slid shut.
Had he not been severely weakened, Lerigot would have fought his way to his family. In his current condition all he could do, was gaze longingly toward the spot where his family's image was position. Placing his head in his hands, he moaned as he tried to wrench the skull cap from his head. A jolt of electricity knocked him back.
Jason bent over as he honed the edges of a crude looking weapon he'd built with a piece of shrapnel. He put down his weapon and gazed about the room. His eyes fell upon Kimberly, crouched by the wall working on her own weapon.
"Move away from the wall," he told her.
She did so, revealing two rows of bolts that formed a small door. Jason knelt down and placed his hands along the panel. He rolled back on his heels and stared at the panel.
"What's up, Jason?"
"Instead of making weapons ... We need to concentrate on opening this panel."
Kimberly did not appear very confident that that was the correct course of action. "Okay, I'm no rocket scientist, but wouldn't that like... let the water in?"
Jason looked down at the large watch on his wrist. He had picked it up at the Peace Conference, and in addition to telling the time, it also featured a compass and depth gauge. At the push of a dial he discovered they were four hundred and thirty-five feet down.
"Okay listen, ... According to the depth gauge on my watch, we're travelling at four hundred and thirty-five feet below the surface ... as we approach Muiranthias the submarine will start climbing upwards. Once we reach a hundred feet we open the panel and let the water in."
"And make it up on one breath?"
"It's our only chance," Jason reasoned.
The monitor flickered as an amazing pattern of the five Ranger colours swirled and then vanished into a ball of light. A strange alarm sounded and then changed to a long, flat tone.
"The installation of the generators is completed Zordon," Alpha said.
"Excellent Alpha!" Zordon rumbled. "Rangers, prepare to behold the results of your hard work: the Turbo Zords!"
Morphin Rangers and Zeo Rangers alike turned as a large wall on the far side of the Power Chamber slid open. There was nothing but darkness with an occasional flash of a strobe light. A mist began to creep from the opening as Alpha decided to make the occasion extra special, by turning on the dry ice machine he had been looking to develop into a freeze ray.
Within the vast darkness, five pairs of headlights lit up. The sound of engines roaring to life filled the chamber. At that moment, the darkness transformed into a spectacular kaleidoscope of lights. The Rangers gasped in awe as the five Turbo Zords moved forward in perfect formation.
"They're ordinary cars?" Tanya asked. She sounded disappointed at the oversized but commonplace vehicles.
"No Tanya, they are extraordinary cars!" Zordon told her firmly, "Vehicles equipped with the power and velocity of Turbo technology, using all applicable data gathered from previous Zords and the technology from Nate's powers. With the power of Zeo compromised, this is the next evolution in the war against evil. When merged they will form the Turbo Megazord."
The Zords flickered, growing smaller and resembling normal sized cars.
"To allow them to move more swiftly, we have given them the ability to reduce in size until required. These Turbo Vehicles are capable of incredible speed. We have coordinated them with your Ranger powers. Adam, Desert Thunder will be yours to command. Kat, behold Wind Chaser. Tanya, Dune Star is your Turbo Zord. And Tommy, Red Lightning will serve you well."
The cars moved closer, seeming under their own command. The Rangers didn't move a muscle though and right before the vehicles hit them, four of the machines vanished. Only the Blue Turbo Zord remained, still idling.
"What about Rocky's Zord?" Adam asked.
"The Mountain Blaster will stay behind for now," Zordon told them.
Alpha chose that moment to continue the briefing. "Remember, Rangers. Once within the Nemesis Triangle, all communications with the Power Chamber will be rendered inactive."
He pushed a button and the Mountain Blaster vanished and within the dark void, five key-like devices in Ranger colours twirled in a vortex of coloured brilliance. Orbiting around them were five coloured devices that the Rangers could guess were morphers.
"The devices before you were built by Lerigot before he was forced to flee his home world," Zordon explained. "Before he left, he entrusted them to me, knowing that we could use them to stop Divatox. With Alpha's assistance they have been configured to work with the generators within the Turbo Zords. These are your new Turbo Keys and Turbo Morphers."
"Does that mean we can get going?" Tommy asked.
"Affirmative," Billy answered. "By utilising the Turbo powers you will be able to penetrate the Nemesis Triangle."
"Rygog, no sign of Zordon's Power Pack?" Divatox asked as the mutant watched the radar. While waiting for an answer she lovingly cradled her eel creature in her arms.
"The radar shows nothing unusual in pursuit," Rygog replied.
Divatox squealed in delight and kissed the top of her creature's head. "Excellent. Nothing must stop this wedding! Now Elgar, did you get that lawyer to draw up the prenuptial agreement?"
"Sure thing Auntie Divatox. Everything that is yours remains yours. And everything that is his becomes yours as well."
"That sound fair to me. I feel like celebrating. Is that lawyer still here?"
"All loaded up an' ready to go," Elgar told her.
"Rygog, fire the torpedoes!" She could hear the terrified scream as the weasel-like creature she had hired to write her documents was sent hurtling into the hemisphere. "That was fun. Rygog, make a note: the first thing we do on my honeymoon is find a new lawyer."
The Zeo Rangers removed their Zeonisers, moved toward the panel and stepped into the vortex. Their hair whipped back as they claimed their individual Keys and Morphers. The vortex raged into a roaring frenzy as the Rangers' forms melded into a blur of colour and light. Suddenly there was silence. The glow of light dissipated as the four Rangers turned, resplendent in their new Ranger uniforms. They moved out into the Power Chamber, leaving the Blue Turbo Key and Morpher to orbit forlornly.
"Quickly Alpha, inform Trey to prepare Pyramidas to act as a channel for the Zeo Crystal's energy. As soon as the breach has been made Tommy, you and your fellow Turbo Rangers must teleport to the Valerian Desert. We will teleport your Turbo Zords there separately. "The Valerian Desert's magnetic forces will interfere with any of Divatox's detection devices."
Alpha continued. "You must then follow the river in the Digathian Forest until you reach the Ghost Galleon."
"The old phantom ship's protective barriers, once fuelled by the power of your Turbo Keys, will set a course through the triangle and see you to Muiranthias in safety."
Red Turbo handed an envelope to his twin.
"Will you deliver this to Coach Daniels? In case we don't make it back, he needs to send in the second team."
David nodded and took the envelope.
"The safety of the Universe depends upon all of you now ..." Zordon said solemnly.
"Ai-yi-yi, I miss you already Rangers. Please be careful!"
"You guys be careful," Red Turbo told those that were staying behind. "May the Power protect us."
Kimberly and Jason worked feverishly on loosening the bolts. Kimberly noticed that her fingers were bleeding profusely.
"My manicurist is going to kill me," she remarked.
Jason noticed the injury, tore a strip from his tank top and tied them for her.
"Kim, why didn't you say something?" he asked.
He had been so desperate to escape that he had failed to observe the possible dangers of their plan. He was just glad he was locked in with Kimberly and not Billy, whose claustrophobia would have made it terribly uncomfortable stuck inside the confines of the bilge.
She shrugged. "I'm no weenie."
Jason noticed the sad tone in Kimberly's voice.
"Come on, we've got three already," he urged.
"I know," she said. Something he had said had spurred her on. "We can't give up."
"Hey, we'll be there to dance in the aisles, when the guys win the competition," he promised. "You'll see."
For some reason, she believed him . </b>
Four powerful vehicles tore through the desert as the Power Rangers made their way to the rendezvous point. The air shimmered as the four Turbo Vehicles burst through a cloud of dust. The four streaks of Ranger teleportation split, entering each individual vehicle.
"Man this is awesome!" Tommy cheered as they made a minor course correction.
The others silently agreed.
"All right, everyone demorph!"
The others obeyed, shifting back to their civilian forms. Lacking the communication provided through their helmets, and not wishing to try and operate the Turbo Zords with one hand, the Rangers strapped themselves in and opened a box on one side of the cockpit. Removing the headset and the thin microphone contained within, they put them on.
"Adam here, Desert Thunder ready to rumble!"
The Rangers placed their Turbo Keys into the ignitions. The engines seemed to grow louder as they did so.
"This is Kat, Wind Chaser ready to howl!"
A few of the Rangers adjusted their seats. They needed to be comfortable after all.
"This is Radio Ranger, I'm your host Tanya, and Dune Star's gonna shine!"
A few final adjustments and Tommy's voice could be heard again.
"Red Lighting, ready to bolt!"
"Remember, no contact with the Power Chamber," Adam warned.
"Yeah," Tanya agreed. "I'm cutting all transmission links now. We don't want Divatox intercepting our communications."
"Last link broken," Tommy told them. "We're on our own now so let's rip some velocity! Shift into Turbo!"
There was a collective jerk as the Rangers ripped into gear and the vehicles took off across the desert. The air resounded from the roar of the thundering Turbo Vehicle engines. The Vehicles moved in a blur of speed.
The Power Chamber
There was a lack of light as the Power Chamber split its resources between monitoring Angel Grove and its current task. Only the instrument panels glowed as Alpha worked feverishly, with Zordon looking on. In the center of the room, a shadowy figure stood on a pedestal.
"The Turbo Ranger powers are a force to be reckoned with, mightier than all others if used correctly. You must use it wisely and it will serve you well. Now step forward and claim your destiny."
A gloved hand extended, momentarily hesitated and then grabbed the Turbo Key and Morpher that waited before him. There was a flash of light.
"You will be teleported to your Turbo Zord," Zordon said. "Using the slipstream created by the other vehicles you will be able to catch up."
The edge of the Digathian Forest
They had been travelling for a while, their vehicles slipping between the real world and the slipstream created by their speed. It had gotten dark outside. Night had fallen. In the light of the Turbo Vehicles's headlights though, the road ahead was well lit.
"Okay guys ... we're heading into the forest ... switch over to Turbo beams," Tommy instructed.
The headlights of the four Turbo Vehicles switched over to a higher wattage as they entered the forest depths, not noticing the single pair of headlights that were rapidly catching them up.
The Subcraft's Bilge
Jason and Kimberly bent over, working on the bolts. Kimberly stopped and leaned back, stretching her muscles. They were tired and cold, but they couldn't stop working. The trap door opened and Kimberly jumped back, leaning against the panel and tried to look nonchalant. A warrior climbed down a rope ladder holding a pot.
"Dinner time," Jason said.
The warrior set the pot on the floor. Kimberly gave a little gasp and looked down at her feet where a steady stream of water flowed from the loosened bolts. She nudged Jason. The warrior turned just as Jason slid down on his butt, putting his back to the trickle of water. He smiles innocently.
"Sure am hungry."
Luckily the warrior was not the most intelligent of Divatox's crew. He simply grunted and climbed back up the ladder. The trap door slammed shut and the two eyed the pot with trepidation.
"I hope it's better than lunch was," Kimberly remarked.
Jason opens the pot and screwed his face up as he sniffed the squirming mass of wormy soup slop.
"I've got news for you ... it's exactly what lunch was."
"Gross!" Kimberly exclaimed. "I just went on a major diet."
The Turbo Vehicles moved through the forest. Tommy stopped his Turbo Vehicle and got out. The other Rangers followed suit.
"That river's gotta be around here somewhere," he said.
Suddenly, a childish laugh pierced the stillness.
"That sounded like a child," Kat decided.
The Rangers began to follow the trail of laughter. They moved through a bank of bushes and came upon the river down below.
"The river!" Adam exclaimed. Tanya however had spotted something else.
"Hey! ... Over there!"
"The Rangers turned to see a beautiful young girl of about eleven. Her skin was the colour of alabaster with long blue/black hair that trailed in front of her bare chest. She sat behind a formation of river stones, lit by the moon light.
"Just stay where you are," Adam warned.
The little girl laughed and vanished under the water.
"Hurry, she could be drowning!" Kat cried.
The Rangers began to scramble down the embankment, unaware that the headlights were getting closer. The girl emerged in another part of the river and floated lazily in the water as she gazed impishly at the Rangers.
"I've been waiting for you," she told them in a strange tone before she dove and a silvery tail flipped out of the water.
"A mermaid?" Kat couldn't believe her eyes, but then a few years earlier she would never have believed that she would be turned into a cat by a wicked witch.
The mermaid came to surface again, closer to the Rangers this time.
"My name ... Mandika! Mandika knows all; follow river to guide find ship, find guide ... Alpha say hi."
She giggled and dove back down into the water.
"What do you think she meant ... find guide?" Kat asked.
"Whatever the guide is, it's too dark to look for it now," Tommy answered.
The flickering flames of the campfire illuminate the night as the four Rangers gathered round the flames, snug inside their light weight silver sleeping bags. Time was moving faster in this place, a few hours had passed while in Angel Grove it had probably only been a matter of minutes.
"I used to be afraid of the dark," Tommy remarked as an owl hooted nearby.
"Yeah, that's when all the boogey men camped out under your bed," Tanya agreed.
"And your parents could never find them," Kat added.
Adam stared into the fire, not listening. As he continued to stare, he began to see the image of a sinister face. He blinked as the flaming face in the fire roared and snapped its mouth. Adam screamed and jumped away. Stuck in his sleeping bag, he inched and flailed like a worm.
"Adam! What is it?" Tanya demanded.
"Didn't you see it?" Adam asked, unusually panicked. "A face in the fire!"
The other Rangers looked worried.
"It was probably nothing," Tommy offered. "Look, I think we all could use some Zs."
As the Rangers lay down, Adam stared uneasily into the fire once more. He unzipped his sleeping back, picked up a flashlight and stood.
"I gotta clear my head," he explained.
"Be careful," Kat told him sleepily.
Adam turned on the flashlight and walked through a group of trees. Mandika's voice echoed in his head.
"Find guide ... Find guide ..."
An owl hooted and took to flight, startling Adam. Adam tripped and cried out as he slid down an incline and landed with the flashlight pointing up. He gave a short scream. The beam shot up upon an old skeleton in tattered rags and pirate hat, leaning against a tree with its bony arm pointing away. An old rusted anchor lay at its feet.
"The guide! It's gotta be!" he realised.
Looking up he noticed the other Rangers looking down at him. He smiled, embarrassed.
"He doesn't look so hot," he told them, "but I bet he's pointing to where the ship is."
Tommy looked thoughtful and then nodded. "Let's go!"
They returned to the Turbo Vehicles and drove them down the path, through a dense fog. They stopped the vehicles and exit, gathering to discuss their next move.
"Well, ... I hear the ocean. But I sure don't see it," Tanya said.
"I'm gonna take a look up ahead," Tommy said. He made his way slowly into the fog. As he disappeared, a loud, booming ship's bell could be heard. "I think I found it!"
The eerie mist parted to reveal an old pirate ship docking by a rickety pier lit by the moon. A large hatch opened.
"Well Zordon said it was called The Ghost Galleon," Kat reasoned.
A ramp slowly moved from the hatch onto the pier. At that moment, the loud roar of an engine sounded and the Rangers turned as the Mountain Blaster cleared the remaining mist and stopped. The headlights were cut as the Rangers move forward cautiously.
"Rocky?" Adam asked.
He knew that was impossible, Rocky's back was too badly damaged for him to show up, powered or not. That left the possibility that Zordon had selected somebody else to be the Blue Turbo Ranger, but just whom would he trust with the powers, and why had he waited until now?
The door opened and two sneakered feet jumped to the ground. Wait a minute, jumped? It was true, the pilot was definitely too short to be seen over the top of the door. The confused Rangers looked on as the door shut, revealing Justin, standing next to his Turbo Vehicle and grinning like a Cheshire cat.
"Justin!" Kat exclaimed.
Tanya was equally disbelieving. "What are you doing here?"
Justin looked a little sheepish. "Rocky couldn't make it, so they sent me."
"What are you talking about?" Adam asked. He couldn't believe this.
"No way!" Tommy said as the pieces fell into place.
"Guys, I'm the new Blue Ranger. Isn't that cool?"
The response from the others was pretty spontaneous. Of all the scenarios they had envisioned, this was not one of them. In the end it was summed up in one word. "What?!"
"Man, I was afraid I wasn't gonna make it! Alpha had to give me a crash course in driving ... Good thing you don't need a license to drive a Zord. Did you guys know that?" Justin was talking a mile a minute. He was young and had just spent hours trailing the other Rangers. He was nervous that they wouldn't accept him and excited that he had the chance to be a Ranger.
He was interrupted as the ship's bell tolled ominously, causing the Rangers to look up at the ship.
"Oookaay," Tommy said, trying to gather his composure. "We're gonna have to deal with this later, right now we've got to get on that ship!"
The others nodded and climbed into their Turbo Vehicles and slowly moved them into formation. They drove onto the pier and them into the ship.
She peered through her periscope, seeking any sign of pursuit, and finding none, slammed it back into the ceiling, smiling as she did so.
"No Rangers in sight ... I knew Zordon would finally get it through his thick head not to mess with me!"
Elgar however was inspecting the cage where Lerigot had been secured. The small wizard was moaning softly, eyes closed as Elgar prodded him through the bars.
"He's gonna be dead soon," he commented.
Divatox joined Elgar and looked through the cage. Her nephew was right for once, if the laboured breathing was any indication, then he was in serious pain.
"Rygog!" she bellowed, prompting the mutant to walk in. "Do something about ... that! We can't let that wretched Liarian die before he opens the gateway to Muiranthias!"
The Ghost Galleon
"Welcome to the team," Tommy finally said. They really didn't have much choice. Rocky had for some reason chosen Justin to be his replacement and Zordon had approved. It was not as if they could break communications silence to complain. Like it or not, Justin was the new Blue Ranger. "Now, why don't we check out the ship?"
The Rangers moved down a narrow deck way filled with nautical memorabilia and cob webs. A door slammed and they jumped.
"Hopefully, it's a friendly spirit." Kat muttered as they climbed to a high deck.
As the Rangers walked across the deck, a thick fog made it impossible for them to see the sea.
"Hey ... look at this!" Justin cried excitedly.
The others gathered around a jewel encrusted box resting on top of a counter next to the ship's wooden wheel. Kat opened the box to find a black lining with five key shaped impressions.
"We know what these are for," she smiled.
"Let's do it," Tommy urged enthusiastically.
One by one, the Rangers inserted their Turbo Power Keys into the velvet grooves. Tommy was the last, and as he pulled his hand back, the ship's bell began to clang. Adam noticed the compass navigator.
"The needle's moving!"
Tommy and Justin joined him as Tanya and Katherine looked around, noticing how the fog had suddenly disappeared.
"The sails ..."
Kat looked to where Tanya was pointing.
"They're rising by themselves!"
The ship's wheel steered itself as the ship lurched forward. The Rangers stood looking out to the sea as the sun rose and the ship took off across the water at incredible speed.
"I'll say it again. This is way cool!" Justin said.
The others agreed. With the sudden speed they somehow knew they could catch up with Divatox.
There was a loud thud as Elgar carelessly dropped Lerigot at Yara's feet. Yara cooed lovingly as she placed Bethel on Lerigot's chest. She crawled forward and stroked his face, causing Lerigot to open his eyes.
"Yara ... Bethel ..." Lerigot said weakly.
Yara smiled as the three Liarian heartbeats merged and filled the room with their strange song. Divatox looked disgusted.
"Lucky for us, we're evil and have no need of such revolting tendencies. Love? Ew!"
An odd alarm sounded and Divatox rushed to her control panel, narrowing the radar screen until it focussed on their immediate area.
"At last! We are finally approaching the Nemesis Triangle! Begin our ascent. We must avoid the reefs!"
"We're moving up, I can feel the pressure building," Kimberly observed before grabbing her head and sitting down on the floor.
"You've gotta clear your ears ... hold your nose and blowout gently," Jason advised.
Kimberly tried to do as her leader instructed as Jason checked his watch.
"We're climbing fast, we need to get the panel started
Kimberly agreed and the two made their way over to the panel. It would have been easier if they had had their powers, but the bilge was insulated against that form of energy. Still, what they lacked in power, they made up for in ingenuity and sheer determination.
The Ghost Galleon
They had made incredible progress in a short time and had almost caught up with Divatox and her cronies. Katherine and Tanya had taken lookout duty and were currently scanning the deck below.
"Do you think Justin knows what he's facing?" Tanya asked. It was a question that been on both their minds. "He's just a kid."
"Justin, Tommy and Adam are on one of the lower decks sparring," Kat replied. "Justin had some incredible moves. To be honest, this is the happiest I've seen him."
Tanya nodded, remembering the match she had witnessed earlier. "I wonder where he learned those moves. He's incredible. But still, he's a child."
The alarm sounded, drawing the attention of all hands. Rygog manned the control panel as the warriors scrambled for battle. Elgar sat on the floor holding his ears as Divatox stormed in.
"Hell's bells! What is going on?" she demanded.
Rygog turned away from the control panel just long enough to explain.
"It's impossible ... The radar has detected the presence of five humans, but no vessel!"
"What, are they swimming? We're in the middle of the blasted ocean!" she pointed out.
"Whatever they're travelling on is quite undetectable," Rygog reasoned.
"No!" Divatox growled. "Zordon's Power Pups no doubt! Why didn't the radar alert us?"
Rygog was silent, as were the warriors. Eventually all eyes turned to Elgar who looked incredibly guilty.
"Well ... uh ... I turned down the radar surge to compensate for the aqua energizer shortage.""You what!" Rygog yelled. He prided himself on the correct operation of the Subcraft, and part of that success relied on Elgar remaining ten feet from the controls at all times. "How many times have I told you to stay away from the control panel?"
"Hey!" Elgar protested, "I was just trying to help..."
"Enough! Elgar, shut up!" Divatox snarled. Her idiot of a nephew was messing up her plans. She stalked toward her nephew, who had the sense to look incredibly nervous as she approached.
"Oh no! Not the nails... Aunt Divatox not the nails!"
She ignored his pleas. "You have been a great disappointment to me, Elgar."
Elgar was backing as quickly as possible toward the door. "I... I know... I'm sorry... I'm a screw driver... please... not the nails..."
Divatox leaned in close to her nephew, purposely infringing on his personal space. She smiled at him, a nice smile that she reserved just for members of her family. Elgar was terrified.
"No Elgar, not the nails, Rygog... open the waste dumpster!"
Elgar wiped his hand across the top of his head, relieved that he would be spared her preferred torture before realising what she intended. "No, not the waste dumpster! Don't send me down there, not with the cackidoodle!"
Divatox's smile grew for a moment and then vanished. "You should feel right at home."
Rygog covered his nose and pushed a button on the control board. A panel slid open in the floor, releasing a green vapour that caused those present to gag as the fumes spilled out. Daring to remove her fingers from her nose long enough to clap her hands, Divatox signalled two warriors to haul Elgar toward the opening.
"Noooo ... please ... I'll be bad, I promise!"
The warriors held Elgar aloft over the opening but did not throw him in as Divatox pondered what to do with the idiot.
"Do you promise Elgar?" she asked. She smiled as he nodded vigorously. "Just as I thought, you don't even have the lack of decency to lie. Drop him in!"
The two warriors seemed to take a great deal of pleasure as they dropped Elgar into the filthy mess contained within. As he sank, he tried into the sludge, he tried to scream, only to get a mouthful of disgusting refuse.
"Don't just stand there you idiots, think of something! Oh, I'll do it myself. We'll just leave a little something for those Power parasites to remember me by!" Divatox declared as she rushed to her control panel and closed the hatch.
"The Putrapods?" Rygog suggested.
"Rygog, you're a genius," she said, grinning maliciously as she pushed a button.
At the rear of the Subcraft a metal door slid open, allowing the vessel to eject six odd looking pods that immediately floated toward the surface. The metal door shut and the vessel vanished into the depths of the ocean not waiting to witness the pods appeared on the surface as the Ghost Galleon floated into view.
Kimberly and Jason eased a small part of the panel open. Water gushed in causing them to stumble as they held on for dear life.
"We'll have to wait till we cross through the triangle!" Jason said, raising his voice to be heard over the rushing water.
"We'd better get in and out of it soon ..." Kimberly replied. The water was pouring in. The light through the port hole suddenly darkened, causing Kimberly to look around nervously. "What's happening?"
The Subcraft shook as the repelling forces of the Nemesis Triangle tried to force it to change direction. With a cheer of triumph Divatox rose from her throne.
"It's time!" she announced. "We are minutes away from the dimensional gateway!" She opened Lerigot's cage and fished the Key from her cleavage. She grabbed the Liarian and thrust the Key at him. "Do it wizard! Open the gateway!"
In a sudden turn of defiance, Lerigot tossed the key away. Divatox screamed angrily and slapped him.
"Little fool!" she snarled. "Open the chamber!"
Rygog flipped the lever on her throne, opening the chamber. Yara and Bethel lay inside, rocking with the motion of the craft. Rygog moved to stand over them as Divatox leaned her face close to Lerigot, nails snapping out, her eyes glowing.
"How much do you love your family, you stupid creature? Rygog!"
Rygog rips Bethel from Yara. Yara wailed as Lerigot screamed. He cried softly and nodded, letting her know that she had won. Divatox smiled, stroking his head.
"That's better," she cooed, "that's my good little Liarian."
Divatox retrieved the key and gave it to Lerigot. Closing his eyes, he trilled erratically. The key glowed, emitting a bolt of light that ricocheted and then vanished through a port hole. The Subcraft calmed and Divatox snatched the key back.
"We're in the Nemesis Triangle!" she crowed as the Subcraft rushed through an electric warp and passed into the Nemesis Triangle.
The fog rolled over front of the wooden vessel, shimmering as the energy behind it lit up the suddenly darkened sky.
"There it is," Tommy said. "The Nemesis Triangle."
Justin nodded. "Whatever's steering this ship, sure knows where to go."
"Yeah, right into the heart of it," Adam said, flatly.
"I've never seen anything like it," Kat breathed.
"Here goes nothin'!" Tanya sighed.
Night became day as the ship sliced its way through the fog bank, enfolding the Rangers within total silence. They could hardly see in front of the ship as it glided through the fog.
"Look out!" Tanya gasped. To the left, a phantom 'ship sped toward them.
They braced for impact but the ship vanished seconds before impact. They duck for cover as an old World War II fighter jet careened down toward them, before vanishing.
"Please tell me I'm not hallucinating," Kat pleaded.
"It's the triangle," Adam explained. "They're phantom crafts."
"Hit the Deck!" Tommy yelled. Illusion or not, he did not want to risk be hit by the UFO that shot across the deck and vanished into the fog.
"Was that a Bookala craft?" Adam asked.
"Man ... that was a close encounter!" Justin joked. The others groaned as the ship continued its journey.
Inside the bilge, Kimberly and Jason, were waist-deep in water as Jason pulled on the panel.
"Anytime, Jason ... the water's rising a little too high for me!"
Jason grabbed the weapon that he been working on and jammed it down into the opening, pulling back with all his might. Time was running out.
The ship was slowly breaking its way through the perimeter of the Nemesis Triangle. The temperature had dropped and the sea had gotten rougher. Their instincts screamed for them to alter course, but in doing so they would fall prey to the forces at work within the area.
Tommy, Adam and Tanya stood on the lower deck peering out into the fog while Katherine and Justin on a higher deck, did the same.
"Can you see anything?" Kat asked.
"Just the nose in front of my face," Adam responded. "Barely."
"Hey ... someone turned up the chill factor here!" Tommy protested, his exclamation covering the noise of the six pods clamping themselves to the ship.
"It's freezing," Tanya agreed. "What's going on?"
The ship began to pitch as the wind picked up. The ship's steering wheel spun out of control while the sails flapped violently. Lightning crackled, sending a skittering of electricity out over the water's surface as the violent surges of the Nemesis Triangle tried to claim its newest victims.
"We're getting close to the gateway!" Adam yelled over the crashing waves. "We need the keys!"
"I'll get them," Kat offered. "I'll meet you below!"
The Rangers sprinted toward a lower room as Katherine moved to the Captain's deck.
The four Rangers scrambled into a small room below deck as a large wave crashed over the side of the ship. They had to leave the hatch open for Kat, which meant a small amount of freezing water flooded the room. The storm raged above as the Rangers latched onto things to maintain their balance. Lightning flashed blindingly as Kat stumble through the hatch with the keys. They grabbed their keys as the light darkened rapidly. They were well beyond the point of no return.
The Rangers raised their keys together as a wave struck the ship, causing it to pitch violently. A chair slammed forward into Justin, knocking him to the ground as his key slid across the floor.
"My key! I dropped my key!" he shouted as he scrambled to find it as the darkness descended in swooping motion.
"Hurry, Justin!" Tanya urged.
A bolt of electricity started to extend from the sky through the hatch toward the Rangers. Justin searched for his key.
"Justin!" Kat cried.
Justin snatched his key at the last instant, jumps up, and joins his key with the other five. The Rangers screamed as the arm of electricity hit an invisible shield blasting back into a myriad of small sparks and out the hatch. An explosion shook the ship uncontrollably, shoving the Rangers to their knees. Suddenly there was silence. Then as the light returned, the Rangers stood.
"It's over," Tanya sighed. "We made it through the gateway."
"I hope our luggage did," Adam joked.
The Rangers laughed in relief.
"We're inside the triangle!" Justin cried excitedly. "Zordon told me all about it! Weird!"
Before he could get too excited, Tommy said, "The keys need to be back in place."
"I'll get us rolling again," Kat offered.
"Yeah, do that. Kimberly and Jason can't be that far ahead of us."
Kat collected the keys and they all headed back to their previous positions. They were surprised when they reached the deck to find a beautiful sky and calm sea.
Kat replaced the keys and the ship lurched forward again. Then she climbed down from the Captain's deck, glanced to the side and stopped short.
"What is it?" Tommy asked as he rushed toward her.
"How did they get there?" she asked, pointing to the six pods grouped together in the narrow walk below the Captain's deck. Adam, Tanya and Justin joined them.
"Talk about ugly," Justin commented. "What are they?"
"Look ... that one's breathing," Adam indicated. He knelt down to get a closer look at the pods. "Breathing ... as in alive?"
"They all are!" Kat realised.
The six pods did indeed seem to be breathing. Adam stretched his hand out to examine them, but withdrew it when he heard a strange hiss. There was a loud 'CRACK!' as the pods started to break open, emitting a purple mist from the jagged crevices.
"Holy moley!" Justin exclaimed.
"Everyone back!" Tommy ordered.
The others were quick to obey as one of the pods began to open, revealing a small, furry, purplish brown ball, encased in transparent slime. The other pods started to pop open, revealing the same contents. The Rangers moved further back into a defensive formation.
Then one of the fur balls moved, as a strange looking hand smashed out of the slime. A beat later, another hand emerged, then a foot and then another. The ball grew larger to form a body that dripped with slime. The six Putrapod monsters - a cross between a gorilla and a bear, covered with rough, matted fur and anteater-like heads, with small ugly faces and jagged teeth - erupted into full-grown status.
"Whoa ... nasty!" Tanya exclaimed.
The pod monster closest to Justin turned and in a quick move, yanked Justin onto the deck in front of the other five pods, which quickly circled him. Tommy moved like lightning, climbing one of the ship's masts where he grabbed hold of a rope and swung down.
Justin turned and grabbed hold of Tommy's arm as he swooped by. They landed on an upper deck as the monsters screamed shrilly, prompting the pod monsters to move toward the other Rangers on the lower deck. Tommy and Justin jumped from the upper deck, landing an incredible kick into two of the monster's backs. That was the signal as the Rangers launched into a full force battle using whatever they could lay their hands on. Tanya heaved a barrel at a monster, sending it down for a moment as Adam picked up a plank of wood and batted a monster aside. Kat swung an old buoy over her head and let it go like a sling shot. It crashed into a monster stunning the creature for a brief moment. The Rangers held the upped hand, but were quickly tiring.
"They keep getting up again!" Kat complained.
"They're too strong!" Tanya agreed.
The monsters closed in as the Rangers fought harder. It was starting to look like a losing battle.
To be Continued